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Janine's DRC Mexico Wedding Planning Thread! Pic Heavy!! Pages 1-7 are the thread!!!11/11/10

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#1 pbjwed

  • Jr. Member
  • 389 posts

    Posted 24 May 2011 - 01:55 PM



    Hi Ladies,


    I almost gave up on my planning thread because after several attempts to upload pics and the computer freezing I was FUSTRATED BEYOND belief.  It was important to share my experience with all of you because this website was a LIFESAVER!!!   I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have other brides to talk to and vent to throughout the process of planning!!!. Not to mention my husband and friends would think I went mad if I shared every detail with them! I have gained friends through this website and feel good when another Bride thanks me for advice and guidance!!  Well here goes how it all began…..



    It all began Feb 5th, 2009.  My soon to be fianc©â€™ surprised me with tickets to an Aaron Lewis Concert at Mohegan Sun. Little did I know he would have Aaron dedicate the song “tangled up in you” to me on stage.  As Aaron started to sing Pete was down on one knee and asked if I would marry him.  I am not quite sure I said “yes“ my exact words after one too many glasses of wine was “are you f’in serious?”  Yes- I had a HUGE potty mouth and I must re-live it every time I play the video?!!  Yes my proposal is on You-tube with over 5000 hits.  I didn’t even know I would be recording my own engagement.  It was a tradition that I video “tangled up in you” at each concert we went to.  After the song Aaron asked “wad she say kid?”  and of coarse my soon to be fianc© at the time screamed yes.  Aaron then pulled out a note from his back pocket and started to read it  â€œThe note said will you please dedicate this song to Janine from Pete because when you play “tangled up in you” I am going to propose to her. 




    Pete and I after the concert:


    proposal feb5th 005.jpg


    We got back stage and met Aaron!!!

    proposal feb5th 013.jpg



    I was lucky enough to be taking a video of the song So I captured his proposal!!



    Wad she say kid?


    The note:



    The very next day the planning began!!!!



    So you are thinking of having a destination wedding because you think it’s going to be easier, less expensive?  Hmm. think again. ..  Costs quickly add up.   Make sure you know what you are getting into.  I don’t regret my decision for a second. My wedding was everything I ever dreamed of and more.




     I knew a DESTINATION WEDDING was exactly what I wanted from day one.  The thought of 250 people was not what my husband and I envisioned how the day we said our “I DO’s”.  We imagined our closest friends and family, on a beach, by the water, at sunset and that’s exactly what we got.


    How to pick a destination?  Make sure wherever you decide to get married that it holds a special place in your heart.  My husband and I took a few trips to Mexico so I knew it was where I wanted it all to happen.


    What to think about before you decide?


    Are you a detail oriented person like me?  If you are BE PREPARED!  Things don’t always go as planned. You are dealing with wedding planners in another country. You quickly realize that dealing with someone over email that doesn’t speak or write English very well can be very frustrating.  Communication can be a challenge because you might not receive an email back for weeks.  Know all of this before you commit and place a down payment on your BIG DAY!


    Price for your guests.

    This should be a concern since many people will be taking a quick vacation to celebrate in your big day!  Make sure that you work with a travel agent (I highly recommend a travel agent that specializes in destination weddings) to secure a blocked room rate for your guests.  They will also have a payment plan that might be helpful for some.  We decided on an all inclusive resort so that our guests wouldn’t have to worry about other expenses while they were there.  Make sure if you do plan a destination wedding that you book far in advance so that prices aren’t too expensive.  Airline tickets get a lot more expensive closer to the date of travel.


    Will it be a legal ceremony or symbolic? 

    This is an important question.  Many countries, like Mexico, will require you be in the country several days prior to your wedding date and have blood tests there.  You also will need to see if the state in which you reside in will accept a marriage certificate from your destination country.  We decided to have a small church ceremony the day before we left and a symbolic ceremony there.  Another thing to think about is who will be your officiant or Justice of the Peace. Some hotels provide it with their wedding packages.  We chose to have a close friend officiate the ceremony.  He personalized our ceremony and made our vows incredibly special.  I would highly recommend using someone you know and trust who is confident in his/her public speaking.


    How many guests will actually come to your destination wedding?

    This is a tough one. Make a list and ask people you love if they think they would be able to come. This is the most important day of your life and you want to make sure a majority of your closest friends and family will be able to surround you with love. Weigh the pros and cons.  People will inevitably back out. Things come up and you just can’t get upset.  My mother was unable to travel to Mexico at last minute and it was upsetting to know she wouldn’t see me get married that day.


    Ok so now you DECIDED a DESTINATION WEDDING is the way to go…..   Now you will have to start your planning.




    this planning thread to be continued....


    #2 pbjwed

    • Jr. Member
    • 389 posts

      Posted 24 May 2011 - 02:08 PM

      I searched websites for hours to find inspiration. 




      The first thing my hubby and I did was set up a site visit (if you can afford it) to see what each hotel would offer us. We had to think about our guests and their budgets.  Plan months in advance for better deals. Whatever your destination pick months that make sense for your budget and the weather. We were married Nov 11th, right before high season started and at the end of hurrican season.  It was warm, not to hot and breezy at night.  Perfect for us! 

      I have friends who opted to get married in Mexico in February, during the peak season. Prepare for higher costs.  Work with a travel agent that specializes in destination weddings.   I do suggest a woman we met in Mexico that lives in FL.  I ended up suggesting her to another bride and she RAVED about her.  






      Wedding Planning at its best.. 




      Where to start?  What to bring?  What I would do over given the chance?


      Make a preliminary budget.  Get a sense of who will be able to come and price out everything with your wedding coordinator.  If you are having a small wedding, a Destination Wedding is VERY SMART and not too expensive.  Compare packages to see how many persons are including.  For us, after 20 guests we paid per person for everything including cocktail hour… even if it is an all inclusive resort!  Review multiple packages and see what is available in each. Most hotels won’t let you substitute but it doesn’t hurt to ask.  Remember you will probably still have to pay for a rehearsal dinner as well as it is not usually included.   Expenses will include, overage per person on dinner, cocktail hour and open bar, DJ (in Mexico we were charged $300 an hr for a DJ;  $1200 for 4hrs.  Other additional costs can include: Cocktail hour music, ceremony equipment, special dance floor, videographer, photographer, etc…  Also remember that if you want any specific decorations or furniture you will have to get prices through hotel or an outside vendor.


      We ended up bringing 7 additional suitcases down to Mexico. We made sure we bought inexpensive collapsible suitcases that could be folded into other bags for the return trip home.  I wouldn’t suggest sending anything in the mail because you never know if it will clear customs and arrive as planned.  Some of our guests, who were flying first class, checked extra bags for us without having to pay extra fees.  This was a plus!!!!  We brought anything breakable in our carry-ons.  I brought DIY candles, cake toppers, pashminas, welcome bags already filled, raffia fans, placecard holder, starfish, candy for buffet,


      What I would have done differently?

      I wouldn’t have spent so much time driving myself crazy with correspondence with the wedding coordinator months before the wedding.  Enjoy the few days you have before the wedding with guests if you can. I must say most of the days leading up to the wedding we were meeting with vendors and making sure all loose ends were tied up.  Make sure you get everything in writing.  Most of all we regret not using a travel agent that specialized in destination weddings.  An Agent that specializes in destination weddings will help you with all the little details.


      I don’t regret having my wedding in Mexico.  Even with the little bumps in the road it was the most magical day/night of my life!   Below is my planning thread!



      Dreams Riviera Cancun Mexico





      to be continued.....


      #3 pbjwed

      • Jr. Member
      • 389 posts

        Posted 24 May 2011 - 02:39 PM


        Our Rings:



        Our Save the Date on Paperless Post-








        Our Esty Designed Wedding Invitations-









        Esty Designed Welcome White Party Invite:




        Our Esty Designed Monograms:






        #4 pbjwed

        • Jr. Member
        • 389 posts

          Posted 24 May 2011 - 03:00 PM

          I purchased my program paper at Staples for $9.99 for 50 programs and we printed them on our home color printer.




          We also used the matching place card template from Staples. Punched a hole in the side added a ribbon and tied a colorful starfish to make our place cards 





          OOT Bags:  We ended up putting together a bag for each family/couple.  Our bridal party got extra goodies in their bags.  Here is what we put in them:




          We purchased the bags at the dollar store. They matched our wedding colors and were durable!


          Contents of Welcome Bag:

          Flip Flops from Old Navy in White

          Playing Cards:

          First Aid Kits for Welcome to Mexico Kit:

          Large Sudoku and Cross Word Puzzles:

          Bath & Body Works Small Lotion & Body Wash


          Shimmery Luggage Tags

          Shimmery Pen & Memo Pad with picture holder

          Shimmery Passport Holders

          Shimmery Cosmetic Bag:

          Starfish PBJ 11-11-10 Xmas Ornament

          Mexico Postcards

          2010 Sunglasses


          For the young guys we did add these funny Metrosexual kits

          For the girls we purchased Aromatherapy kits


          to be continued...


          #5 pbjwed

          • Jr. Member
          • 389 posts

            Posted 24 May 2011 - 03:24 PM




            These are a few of the kids’ toys we put in the family bags…

            Mini Cross-Word Puzzles

            Squirt Guns



            Nerf Footballs 

            Bouncing Balls 



            Contents of Welcome To Mexico Survival Kit:




            Sunscreen Toilette

            Bug Repellent


            Drink mix

            Green Vibrance mix



            Moist Wipes


            Gas –Ex Stripes

            Vegas Nights for the young adults! (Great for a hangover!)

            Condemns for the single adult males!



            For the guys we gave them a man bag so they didn’t have to carry around the pink bag around the resort!- The girlfriends/wives got to keep those!


            I purchased these jute bags from another bride





            For the Bridesmaids:

            Coach Orange Handbag.

            Orange Pashmnia

            Tropical photo albums:

            Large Hardcover Sudoku book:

            Each Bridesmaid received a unique gift in each bag as well






            Bridesmaids Gifts:

            I purchased t-shirts on sale at various stores.  Mandees/Target/Old Navy

            Purchased the iron on bling letters and made t-shirts with their names and then purchased pink and orange bikini bottoms at Victoria Secret. They came out so cute!!!


            My shirt






            My Stylist Shirts:




            #6 pbjwed

            • Jr. Member
            • 389 posts

              Posted 24 May 2011 - 04:08 PM

              I had the best two stylists with me in Mexico!!


              Diane Diers of Emily Rose Salon Glastonbury CT was responsible for my beautiful hair!


              Emily Rose Style Group
              36 Welles Street
              Glastonbury, CT 06033







              Mariluz Fontanez was responsible for my flawless makeup!




              Our Bling Camera’s for tables:




              Our Cake Topper:

              I painted both figures to match our outfits and added bling!  My niece added blonde long hair to her as well.  It was so cute!  What I didn’t ask the staff to do was to add the flowers to the actual cake!!  I was specific and asked for them to be put on the table around the cake. Well OOPS they put the flowers on the cake!!  OH WELL It was very yummy!






              My beautiful niece performed “Marry Me” by Train on her guitar….  It was a wonderful surprise which brought tears to my eyes. Every time I hear that song I think back to this day.




              Below is a link to her performance…







              #7 muzikgrrl

              • Jr. Member
              • 193 posts

                Posted 24 May 2011 - 07:05 PM

                Everything that you planned looks great!  Congratulations!

                #8 jbmarch2012

                • Jr. Member
                • 460 posts

                  Posted 24 May 2011 - 07:10 PM

                  Awesome planning thread! Congrats, looks like you had a VERY beautiful wedding!!! And thanks so much for the tips

                  #9 Toiinlove

                  • Newbie
                  • 87 posts

                    Posted 24 May 2011 - 07:13 PM

                    This was a really great planning thread. Thanks for taking the time! I love your dress!

                    #10 JayKay

                    • Sr. Member
                    • 3,472 posts
                    • Wedding Date:January 13, 2012
                    • Wedding Location:Gran Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Jamaica
                    • LocationSouthern Alberta

                    Posted 24 May 2011 - 07:23 PM

                    Thanks for all the advice!  Great planning thread!

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